Kick start your day with a good breakfast

The Morning After

The regret…the sadness…the compulsion to do it again…I’m feeling all of this about…last night’s Horace Greeley High School reunion!

greeley framed

I’m so sorry and disappointed I won’t see these old classmates again today for more laughs and memories and news and photo-sharing. Has any class ever had a 41st year reunion? (I’d better watch what I say or I’ll be roped into organizing it!)

I haven’t seen most of my fellow students since our tenth reunion. My, how we’ve matured. Some of us are retiring (in the sense of leaving full-time work; we were never a shy group!), some of us are grandparents, some of us are struggling with the death of not just parents but siblings. I’d say all of the people I talked to last night, despite shaky moments in careers or big transitions or recovery from addiction or loss, feel confident that everything will turn out for the best. I certainly do, after last night!

chappaqua summer

The gifts Greeley’s teachers and staff and our parents gave us back then are still paying out today: a foundation of love and encouragement, a safe place to experiment and learn, discipline, drive, and confidence.  I’m so grateful.

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Small-Batch Baking

I’ve finally found a muffin recipe that I can reduce from twelve to six to three and have the smallest batch taste as moist and delicious as the largest!

I substituted pineapple for the apple in this since I still had the buy-$20-worth-of-Chinese-food-and-get-something-free pineapple chunks left over from the other night’s take-out. Thank you, Six Happiness!


Easy Morning Glory Muffins

from Debbie Clarke courtesy of AllRecipes.com

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup and 1 tablespoon white sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

½ cup shredded carrot (about half of a thick-ish carrot)

⅛ cup raisins

⅛ cup and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

⅓ cup chopped pineapple

⅛ cup flaked coconut

1 egg

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease three muffin cups (put a little water in the other cups in the tin to keep them from burning)

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the carrot, raisins, nuts, coconut, and pineapple.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into the carrot/flour mixture, just until moistened. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Copyright © 2013 AllRecipes.com

Here’s hoping you too will have a glorious morning!



Surprise Inside!

When I’m admonished to eat breakfast because “it’s good for you!” I think of my wonderful mother who ate the skins of her baked potatoes with great gusto so that we might do the same. We balked, she wheedled, we nibbled, she conceded. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

And, in the odd way my minds works, that leads me to remember the cereals of my youth–with a prize inside!


So sugary, these cereals sent more dentists’ kids through college than Claiborne Pell. Why did we need the school bus? On those sugar highs, we could’ve run all the way there ourselves.

Now, as a reasonably responsible adult, I try to balance flavor with some modicum of nutrition and a little bit of fun.

That brings me to the breakfast taco.


I happened to have some ready-made taco shells on the shelf into which I spooned some drained, crumbled breakfast sausage. I added some green salsa and a couple of dollops of sour cream. Downed it with an icy glass of lime water.


Try it, you’ll like it!


Kalamata on the Hudson

This morning, I’m conjuring up the relaxed, all-natural lifestyle of the  Mediterranean with an Omeletta Me Domates from a cookbook I salvaged from the giveaway table downstairs.

greek food

“…for Greeks food and cooking and eating are, at least on occasion, things of excitement, exuberance, and just possibly, magic.”

The magic I’m looking for this morning is the ability to hold back time. I don’t want summer to end, so I’ll stop and smell the fresh basil, taste the sweet ripe tomato, and bask in the sunny yellow of the eggs. Kaliméra!

Not beautiful intact curds, but delicious all the same!

Not beautiful intact curds, but delicious all the same!

(I halved this for just myself and cooked it in a small cast-iron skillet; it’s actually enough for two)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced or shredded

salt and black pepper

pinch sugar

1/2 teaspoon oregano, or thyme or fresh basil

4 eggs, beaten a little with a fork

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the prepared tomatoes with the herbs. Stir a little and let them cook gently for 5-8 minutes until all the liquid evaporates. Stir in some seasoning and the sugar and add the seasoned beaten eggs, pouring them evenly all over the tomatoes. Stir gently with a fork and cook slowly for 2-3 minutes until the eggs are cooked but not too solid. Take it to the table in the frying pan and let people dip in it or serve themselves. The consistency of the dish should resemble scrambled eggs.

Copyright (c) Renata Salaman 1983

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My Calling Card

In the days before the telephone, ladies would make calls to one another, actual face-to-face visits! She would leave behind, even if she’d had a chat with her friend, a calling card.

calling card

When I went to see my friend and neighbor Shirley, who’s recovering at the local rehab hospital, I left a little something.

Oatmeal scone with cinnamon-sugar topping

Oatmeal scone with cinnamon-sugar topping

Because you can’t nibble a calling card when you have a cup of tea.


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What did Max grow on Yasgur’s farm?

Cows! Max Yasgur was Sullivan County’s biggest milk producer in the late ’60s.

Then came his fateful agreement to host Woodstock, 45 years ago this weekend.


I was 13, living in Chappaqua, NY, too sheltered, too scared to dream of going. Actually, I probably wasn’t even aware it was happening. But I did spend hours later, blasting Richie Havens’ “Freedom” on the hi-fi to my parents’ dismay, just imaging what kind of life I’d someday make for myself. Let’s just say, to be perfectly honest, that sheltered and scared isn’t too far from the truth. But there’s still time to rock out!

In a nod to Wavy Gravy, still working, fearlessly reaching out to anyone and everyone in need, who wowed the crowd with a smile and “What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000!” I made what might have been a typical breakfast at Woodstock.

whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, fresh strawberries, cold milk

whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, fresh strawberries, cold milk

Peace, everybody.

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The Cheese Plate at Breakfast

cheese cart

My favorite thing about a French meal is the cheese plate at the end. If I could incorporate that into every meal, I’d be in seventh heaven. When I saw a photo of the juiciest, sweetest-looking watermelon today, I thought, “What about watermelon and feta for breakfast?” (I can hear the howls of protest from France at this leap from their exquisite cart of Brie and Camembert, Epoisses and Emmenthaler to this trendy combo, but there is a big, wide world out there with audacious ideas of satisfaction.) I didn’t have a chance to get to the store today, so I came up with another fruit-and-cheese pairing from what I have in the fridge: tomato and pepper Jack, served with a couple of strips of warm tortilla.


A Roma tomato, fragrant and almost sweet, is a good complement to the spicy cheese and nutty   tortilla

A Roma tomato, fragrant and almost sweet, is a good complement to the spicy cheese and nutty tortilla

Havarti and grapes…chèvre and pears…plums and ricotta…of course, the luscious melon and salty feta–there’s no end to the choices, and what a delicious, nutritious start to the day!


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Whither Paradise?


Here’s a thought for a Sunday morning: if Eve had only eaten a pear instead of an apple, would we all still be living in Paradise?

This pear was not as juicy as I’d hoped, but as easy breakfasts go, it”s just about perfect. With oranges and grapes, you’ve got to deal with the seeds; when you peel kiwi and papaya, you lose some of the fruit; bananas go rotten so quickly. Both apples and pears are inexpensive, portable, don’t require peeling, and you can eat right down to the core. So where was the pear tree for Eve to turn to, to show that snake in the grass she wasn’t born yesterday.

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Buenos Dias!






My dream come true! Whole wheat tortilla heated for a few minutes in the microwave; refried black beans; fried egg; tomatillo salsa; Monterey Jack cheese melted on top in the toaster oven. Es delicioso! 

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Dreaming of…



bones? Kibble? Her next meal, absolutely…whatever it will be. Me, too!

Tonight, I made refried black beans from scratch for the first time. Not authentic by any means, but they were delicious. I put a couple of spoonfuls aside for huevos rancheros tomorrow. I’ll be dreaming of horses, high grass, and a beautiful sunrise tonight.

1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

2 cloved garlic (finely chopped)

1 heaping tablespoon chopped green chiles

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, undrained

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook and stir, onion, garlic, and chiles in oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; mash beans.

Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 15 minutes.


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